DECISION MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT FROM: WILLIAM F. GOROG [WFG
SUBJECT: Naming the Space Shuttle
Next Wednesday you will meet with Dr. James
Fletcher of NASA for a
substantive meeting at which time you will be presented with a mock-up
of the space shuttle, the full scale version of which will be rolled out
in California later this month. NASA has
not announced a name as of yet for the shuttle, and they are holding
this announcement until your meeting with Fletcher.
Dr. Fletcher is not adverse to the
name "Enterprise" for the space shuttle, and I suggest that you ask that
it be so named for the following reasons:
- NASA has received hundreds of thousands
of letters from the space-oriented "Star Trek" group asking that the
name "Enterprise" be given to the craft. This group comprises millions
of individuals who are deeply interested in our space program.
- The name "Enterprise" is tied in with the system on which the Nation's
economic structure is built.
- Use of the name would provide a substantial human interest appeal to
the rollout ceremonies scheduled for this month in California, where the
aeronautical industry is of vital importance.
In short, this situation could provide the same public interest as the
CB radio provided for Mrs. Ford.
Your approval is sought to have NASA use
the name "Enterprise" on the space shuttle.
Approve [GRF initialed] Disapprove
THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON
September 7, 1976
Naming the Space Shuttle
Staffing of the attached memorandum resulted in the following comments
Phil Buchen and Brent Scowcroft - concur with
Jim Cannon - "It seems to me
"Enterprise" is an excellent name for the space shuttle.
It would be personally gratifying to several million followers of the
television show "Star Trek", one of the most dedicated constituencies in
Moreover, the name "Enterprise" is a hallowed Navy tradition. An
"Enterprise" was in action against the Barbary pirates in 1803. During
World War II, an "Enterprise" served with the Wasp and the Hornet in the
carrier fleet in the Pacific. And the Navy's current "Enterprise" is the
first nuclear carrier."
Dr. Guy Stever - "Enterprise" is
fine for the reasons listed."
Bob Hartmann - "This is an
especially hallowed Naval name - going back to the Revolution - I think
Navy should keep it."
Jack Marsh - "I have no objection
to this selection of a name, however, I am not enthusiastic about the
rationale for the selection. "Enterprise" is a famous name for vessels
since the early days of the Republic. I think that is a far better
reason than appealing to a T.V. fad."
Ford Library, Presidential
Handwriting File, Subject File, Box 34, Outer Space. No
classification marking. Ford
initialed his approval. The September 7 document reporting the
reactions of White House staff is attached to the memorandum. The
decision in favor of "Enterprise" was announced on September 9, one
day after the meeting with NASA